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Church in Wales Governing Body: hope for Evangelism Fund

16 September 2022

Church in Wales

The Revd Mark Simpson, associate vicar of the second project to be awarded funds

The Revd Mark Simpson, associate vicar of the second project to be awarded funds

HOPE Street, Wrexham, in St Asaph diocese, was the first project enabled by the Church in Wales Evangelism Fund — established in 2018 to provide funding for large-scale, transformative diocesan projects. Initially, £10 million was set aside for the fund, and a further £6 million added.

It has meant the refurbishment and repurposing of a former Burton store, with the shop windows retained as “an opportunity for us to be an outward-facing presence”, the Revd Andy Kitchen said. He runs Hope Street with his wife, Rachel, and what he described to the Governing Body as “a passionate, fervent group of followers of Jesus at its heart”. The couple were formerly on the staff of Holy Trinity, Brompton (HTB).

They describe Wrexham as “the beating heart of North Wales”: a place re-emerging as a post-industrial city and experiencing both numerical and spiritual growth. Community projects such as Bridge the Gap, which has attracted 60 footballers, had found “Border Force officers getting to know people seeking asylum,” Mr Kitchen said. “People younger and more diverse than we had been told to expect, including a large contingent from El Salvador.”

The building, open all week and with a commercial kitchen and a coffee business, has been awarded Community Building of the Year for Wales.

The meeting also heard from the Revd Mark Simpson, associate vicar of the second project to be awarded funds: the thriving HTB plant of Citizen Church, Cardiff, and from Young Faith Matters. Bangor and St Davids dioceses have also embarked on Evangelism Fund projects, and applications from Monmouth and Swansea & Brecon are being formed.

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